Many moons ago, when I took piano lessons, I didn’t take lessons in the summer. But I was still made to practice, and especially when I said to my mom, “I’m bored”, the response was to go practice.
But what to practice? That was always my question. I was told to review pieces you’ve already played. That seemed kind of silly to me, since I already played them. I knew them! Why play them? First off, my mom liked to hear them, so it made her happy. But, as I’ll share with you, I found a few reasons why review is a good thing!
When you review pieces you’ve already played, you see how far you’ve come as a musician. This is huge! Our progress can sometimes feel very slow and almost glacier-like. But when you stop and look back, you see how far you’ve come. So this week, for my students who are taking the summer off, I’ve been encouraging them to do just that.
The second thing that happens when you review pieces you’ve already played is that you keep those pieces fresh under your fingers. What happens if Grandma or another family friend drops by and wants an impromptu concert? You’ve got music at the ready! Another thing that I had the opportunity to do throughout summers was to go to the assisted living facility where my mom worked and I played the piano for them. What an awesome opportunity! The residents didn’t care what I played, just being able to hear something musical was a treat for them. And I’m thankful I was able to do that.
The final thing that happens when you review pieces you’ve already played is that you keep your skills up. One of the biggest challenges in school at the beginning of a new year is that teachers spend the first month or so reviewing what was unlearned over the summer, because it doesn’t usually get reinforced. Same thing with piano. If you take the whole summer and don’t touch your instrument or do anything musical, are you going to be as sharp as you could be when you return? Of course not! So keeping those skills sharp is essential!
Those are my three main reasons. What do you think? Comment with why you think it’s good to continue to review pieces you’ve already played, especially over the summer!